28 Candles

Quai de Bourbon

There was a time in my blogging history here when I was posting five times a week, a feat that seems crazy and impossible to me now. I thought I’d reached a comfortable balance by posting MWF there for a while, but recently I can barely knock out two posts a week without feeling like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for content. Is anyone else feeling that way? I’ve noticed an overall slowing down in the blog circles I move in, and I wonder if it’s just a holiday thing (this time of year is notorious for taking a breather) or a symptom of a greater shift in blogging. Regardless, I am not as on my game as I once was, and I’ve been neglecting this space.

But I went to my eye doctor this week, and she confirmed what I’ve been feeling recently: my eyes are overworked. The feeling I have at the end of a nine hour day staring at two computer screens at work (a mix of eye strain and computer burn-out) has kept me away from my laptop when I get home. Ergo, less blogging. My eye doctor suggested I keep it up, and limit my screen time wherever possible. So I could just as easily blame my negligence on “Doctor’s orders!” but also, there has been so much going on offline that I have had less and less time for online. Holiday parties, Newsroom marathons, Monday Night Dinner Clubs, and, oh yeah, turning 28!

Tomorrow is my birthday! In recent years, or rather, every year up until age 25, I treated my birthday like a national holiday, deserving of all the fanfare and fireworks and attention as, say, Christmas, that holiday just five days after the glorious day of my birth that is always stealing my thunder and overshadowing my day and guaranteeing I end up with birthday presents wrapped in Santa-covered wrapping paper. Weirdly, everyone in my life agreed to my demands for years and years, and you can’t imagine how that shaped my perception of birthdays. Not just mine, but everyone’s. Birthdays are my favorite, and I’ll loudly follow someone around saying, “IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY TODAY?? HAPPY BIRTHDAY! GUYS, WE HAVE A BIRTHDAY BOY.” (See: my friend Herbie, on his birthday last month).

And then I had to go and get old and suddenly the joy was just sucked out of the entire affair. Give me cake, give me presents, give me anti-wrinkle cream, but just don’t ask me how old I am. (I’m being hyperbolic, I know, considering I’m still in my 20s and people are going to give me flak for complaining.) My birthday doesn’t feel like quite the same BIG DEAL at 28 as it did at 18 (oh sweet Jesus that was 10 years ago), but I’m still going to celebrate. We’re going to Parc tomorrow and getting together with family. But it’s happening offline, and maybe it’s the wisdom that comes with my advanced age, but I’m realizing that offline is important. My fear of, “If I don’t blog about it, how will people know it happened??” has evaporated right along with my youth.

Let’s live offline, too. My eye doctor might have been on to something.

30 thoughts on “28 Candles

  1. I hear you, sister!

    I come across more and more people who are just feeling “urgh!” at everything that life is throwing them at the moment. So many are considering career changes, home changes, relationship changes. It must be something in the air :)

    I’m not struggling as much as I have been for content on the blog, but it’s only because I’ve taken a step back in other aspects of my life, to make room for creativity to come in, if that makes sense?

    Here’s to hoping the eye doctor is on to something and that you manage to get some well-deserved eye RnR in the coming weeks.

    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY in advance! xxx

    1. Thank you, Suzzy!!

      I’m hoping whatever this is will pass, because like you said, there seems to be something in the air that is causing everyone to be sort of impatient/restless with the status quo. I understand what you’re saying, too. It’s all about balance. Right now, I’m not balancing things in a way that leans in my blog’s favor. Hopefully I’ll get back to that place soon, though! xo

  2. advanced age? ADVANCED AGE? are you kidding me??? as to life off-line, it’s all about balance, isn’t it? otherwise, I agree. I think it’s a bit of both. the holidays are keeping people busy, but there is also a shift [i like to think]. I think it’s becoming more about creating content again instead of re-blogging or giving shopping or entertainment recommendations [easy enough to create, no?]. I noticed that there are less posts but the quality is getting better again. let’s hope it stays like that.

    oh, and happy early birthday. more tomorrow, I hope xoxoxo

    1. Of course I’m kidding. ;) I was being intentionally hyperbolic!

      But it is all about balance, and I’m the worst at striking a good one that leaves all aspects of my life equally fulfilled. I am happier with a slowed posting schedule if it means I’m posting things of value, instead of fluff posts just for the sake of getting a post up, you know? xo

  3. Firstly, happiest birthday! Secondly, I blame the holidays for people slowing down with blogging but I understand the lack of energy and motivation at the end of the day. I just want to sit my butt down somewhere and read a midst piles of blankets. Give yourself a break and enjoy!

    1. Thank you! Very belatedly on my part, but thank you nonetheless. I think it’s just the holidays, but I guess we’ll see as we start 2015, if blogging stays at this pace. Maybe it’s just me :) xo

  4. happy birthday my dear friend! I hope you have a wonderful day.
    Yes blog slowdown. Hmm. What does it mean?? Is it all over? For my part I have lots to write about but just can’t justify the time for something which isn’t earning me any money. Plus as you say when you’re on a computer all day it’s hard to make yourself spend more time in the laptop. But the problem when your friends slow down or stop is that you MISS THEM! It’s like a friend no longer calling you up or something. X x x x

    1. Thank you, sweet friend! It was a lovely day indeed.

      I hear what you mean about blogging versus other (lucrative) pursuits. I definitely didn’t start blogging in the hopes that one day it would be a form of income for me, but the longer I do it (four years in February, jfc) the more I wonder what the end game is? Why do I keep doing it? What’s the point? But you’re right, it’s the friendships. And it really does feel like you miss your friends when people stop blogging (Nina! Santa! Sue! YOU!). xo

  5. i am with you on birthdays – espcially since having birthed my own child – they are a celebration of the miracle we each represent. so with that i say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BON ANNIVERSAIRE, & FELICIDADES!! xo

    take care of those eyes, continue to create thoughtful and beautiful content, but do it in your own rythem. or to quote one of my heros, Garrison Keillor “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”

    1. Merci beaucoup, gracias, and thank you, darling!! For the birthday wishes, and for the incredibly sweet “thoughtful and beautiful content” line. You warm my teeny little heart. xo

      (That GK quote is spot on!)

  6. Joyeux anniversaire Erin!!
    Même si t’écrit dans le blog moins j’espère que tu ne le laissera pas totalement ! Tu me manqueras ! Mais je comprends, moi aussi de fois que me dit, “c’est bizarre , pourquoi je raconte ma vie dans un blog?
    Je te souhaite une très belle journée et beaucoup des cadeaux et d’amour :) xo

    1. Merci, Eva! J’ai passe une bonne journee (il y avait des macarons!). Et tu me manqueras aussi, Eva, donc je te promets que je ne quittera pas totalment! Un jour, peut-etre, mais pas maintenant ou cette annee. Je me suis demande la meme, “pourquoi, mon blog??” xo

  7. I knew it was your birthday tomorrow! :) Hope you have a great birthday. (And maybe you missed my whole BIFOCALS business? Honey, you are so not-old.)

    I think about it when I don’t take my camera everywhere (and then people get mad at me!). No, I don’t need to blog that I did this or that. But the structure I love and the people I love, so balance should be found.

    1. lauren, i have bifocals too! i’ve actually had them since i was 20 (!!!) or so. my eyes kept getting progressively worse and once the doc prescribed bifocals my eyesight stopped degrading. :)

    2. You’re good, you :) I did have a great day! Thanks, doll. And I DID miss that you had gotten bifocals! It seems like you’re not alone, though, and I bet you and Yelle look snazzy in them!

      I’m with you. Less and less seems blog worthy these days, especially considering I’ve never been super personal on here to begin with, you know? I’m looking for that balance, though! In all aspects of my life it seems… xo

  8. happy birthday! enjoy your day tomorrow! have a wonderful dinner at parc.

    you probably have seen it with my blog, i’ve been seriously slacking with sometimes waiting three weeks between posts! thankfully, i’m inspired again and a fresh new layout always helps.

    as for eye strain, i totally feel you. i look at a computer all day answering emails, then i go home and edit blog posts, and then i like to read blogs. thankfully, i’ve switched to reading actual books these days, but then i feel like i’m missing out on what’s going on with you and my other favorite bloggers :( ah the fear of missing out coupled with, if i didn’t post it online, did it even happen? i’m stuck in the in-between phase of caring and not caring and i can’t wait to just say fuck it, i’m living offline today.

    1. Thank you, lovey! Parc was amazing as always. Any meal that starts with a cheese plate and ends with macarons…how can you go wrong?

      I think the important thing is that we don’t beat ourselves up over any perceived “slacking.” I love your attitude to just shrug and live offline. But you’re right, it is a mix of fear or missing out and feeling like you are abandoning all your blog friends! :( xo

  9. Happiest of happy birthdays! You are definitely not old. Just wait till you realize 18 was 20 years ago! So enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

    I feel like blogging usually picks up around the holidays, but this year, yeah, i’ve noticed the same thing going on. I know I’ve been blogging a lot less. I am not going to judge others on their content (good vs bad – who am i to judge?), why they blog, whether they should or not (it’s my choice to read them!), I think it’s up to the bloggers to simply do what inspires them at any given time, blogging a lot or a little or (it each persons space after all), but for me, I just haven’t really felt terribly inspired lately and that’s why I have cut back. But I do know I miss it and hope to find that balance again soon! xoxo

    1. Haha, thank you twinsy. I have moments when I realize 1990 was not, in fact, 10 years ago, and those moments send me into a deep depression, haha.

      I love your approach to blogging/the noticeable slow-down recently, and I hope I didn’t come across as judge-y in my post! I promise I’m not being judge-y! I was just hoping that I wasn’t going crazy and noticing a slowing down that wasn’t actually occurring. I hope we all find that magical balance/inspiration soon. xo

      1. ha! no i didn’t think you were being judge-y at all! i just think sometimes as bloggers we are hard on ourselves! i know for me when i don’t feel inspired i tend to not post as much (and in those times that it’s less it’s usually not great either content either because i am simply not inspired in general. but i feel like i should be posting anyway, then i think no i shouldn’t. and back and forth i go). which is really what i was trying to say, it’s about being inspired whether it’s great to others or not, whether it is frequent or not. but, no you are not alone at all, i’ve totally noticed a downturn. hopefully the new year will be filled with inspiration. xo

  10. Happy birthday! :)

    And yes, I’m going through the same thing as you are with my blog. Not enough time, not enough inspiration. So I just take it as it goes. But you’re right, it does seem that many blogs have slowed down a bit recently.

    1. Thank you, Charlotte!

      Not enough time, not enough inspiration is right. I think that’s definitely playing a part in my own slowness around here :) xo

  11. Happy birthday! Hope you have a lovely day and that it reignites some of your old enthusiasm for birthdays :)
    I’ve noticed things changing too, people seem to have less to say about themselves and instead my feeds are filling up with product advertisements.. hopefully there will be another shift soon, at the moment it’s a bit like opening up a magazine and finding 75% of it is adverts with a few features dotted around xxx

    1. Thank you, Lucy!! It most certainly did, haha. I don’t know why I ever doubted them :)

      That’s so interesting to hear you say that, I had been feeling the opposite, at least with the blogs I circulate. Instead of finding filler posts with product adverts, as you said, I’m mostly finding nothing new for longer stretches than most of us would have gone for a few years ago. It’s tough, though, only seeing fluff posts (75%! That would drive me bonkers, haha). xo

  12. happy birthday chick (though i think i’m a little late?)… as i always say, getting old beats the alternative so celebrate with joy!
    my poor little blog is currently in an enforced coma… desperately trying to preserve its life by not publishing complete crud… this year has been exhausting, rewarding, merciless and sleep deprived so i can only hope that fresh inspiration & time to share it is forthcoming in the new year!
    so much to tell… so little time to tell it…
    onwards & upwards!

    1. No worries, no worries, doll! Thank you very much.

      An enforced coma! I love that :) And I admire your resistance to posting crap for the sake of posting. I used to do that, and would sometimes find myself scrambling madly in the morning looking for something, anything to post. Now I’m happy to skip a day (or five…) if it means when I do come back, it’s like you said. “Fresh inspiration!” xoxo

  13. Happy belated birthday!! (I finally caught up on 12 days worth of blog posts in my feed reader…)

    I’m happy that I don’t work an office job, otherwise my eyes would be in far worse shape than they already are. I’m guilty of spending most of my off-time in front of the computer screen though. One of these days I’ll need reading glasses.

    I agree that getting older becomes less of a celebration the older you get (until you hit those milestones!). I also agree that it’s good to focus on the offline happenings. I was finding myself feeling guilty that I didn’t post about everything going on in my life and that I wasn’t taking photos every time I was out doing something… but you can’t live life that way. I’ve become more and more okay with not documenting every last bit of my life and just posting a lot of cat photos… perhaps it makes my blog life slightly less interesting, but it certainly makes my real life much more enjoyable.

    1. Thank you, Marine! No worries, as you can see I’m very belated in following up with comments, so I’m not one to judge :)

      I definitely felt guilty a year or so ago when I would skip a day or when I wanted to skip a day but couldn’t let myself and would post something silly or uninspired just to not miss a day. That was worse than skipping a day all together, I think. You’re so right about the pull-back of blogging making real life more enjoyable. I’ve found that to be true recently! xo

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